Super League Preview: Castleford Tigers

Transfers

In: Niall Evalds (Salford), Suaia Matagi, Jordan Turner (both Huddersfield), Lewis Bienek (Hull FC).

Out: Mike McMeeken (Catalans), Bailey Hodgson (Newcastle, AUS), Lewis Carr (Dewsbury), Calum Turner (Newcastle), Matt Cook (Widnes), Junior Moors (Featherstone).

Powell hoping for swansong

Daryl Powell’s side will be out to give him a last year to saviour after he announced he would leave the Tigers at the end of the season.

Castleford under-achieved last season, having never really got going after lockdown and finishing eighth in the Super League standings.

They have recruited well, bringing in highly-rated Niall Evalds from Salford. The capture of Salford’s superstar fullback is one of this off-season’s biggest moves across all of Super League, but despite this, the 27-year old isn’t fazed by the weight of expectations that come with his move across the Pennines.

“I don’t feel any extra pressure, there’s pressure to play Super League games every day," he said. "I’ve grown up putting pressure on myself to always be the best, to always perform and I don’t really feel the pressure too much, I just go out and enjoy myself.

"I think that’s when I play the best. I just try to put in all the hard work early: Train well, I do everything off the pitch well, and what happens on the pitch follows that. I think people probably expect a lot of me, and I expect a lot of myself.”

And Cas will be hoping that news of Powell’s departure after eight seasons at the end of the campaign won’t put a downer on their year.

Powell first took charge of the Tigers during the 2013 season with the team languishing in the bottom of the league table but in his near eight years as Head Coach, he has played a vital role in turning the Club’s on-field fortunes around, from fighting off relegation to contending for silverware success.

The 55-year-old has led Castleford to finals in both the Challenge Cup and Super League, play-off place finishes on four occasions, and secured the Club’s first-ever top place finish and won the League Leaders’ Shield in 2017.

Wholly committed to the Tigers for the upcoming season, Powell has agreed to an updated contract which will see him finish his tenure with the Club at the end of 2021, with a strong ambition of leaving Castleford Tigers on a high note.

Prediction

The Tigers will be hoping to hit the ground running this season, after a disappointing 8th place finish last season.

The signing of Niall Evalds is one that shouldn't be understated, with the former Salford man's attacking impetus sure to add an extra dynamic to the Tigers attack.

Castleford are stacked in the halves too, with Danny Richardson, Jake Trueman and Gareth O'Brien all competing for a starting berth.

Their lack of consistency has killed them in recent seasons though, and with that in mind we can't foresee a fairytale ending for Daryl Powell.

VAVEL Predicts - 9th

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